A House committee has passed a bill that lays out a system for spending the state’s profits from the Iowa Lottery’s TouchPlay machines. Meanwhile, two other committees have passed bills that would ban the machines from Iowa.
Representative Steven Olson, a Republican from DeWitt, sees the irony in committee action on a bill that would spend TouchPlay profits. “I held this bill for a long time before I decided to run it just because the fate of the machines had not been determined,” Olson says. Olson is the floor manager of the bill that would reserve the state’s TouchPlay proceeds for “rural infrastructure” in the 75 Iowa counties which have a population of less than 25-thousand people.
Olson, though, can’t say how much grant money there would be. “With the fate of the TouchPlay legislation right now…who knows what the figure is going to be, if the bill is going to be dead or what the situation is going to be,” Olson says. Nonetheless, the bill that designates how Lottery TouchPlay profits will be spent has cleared the House Economic Growth Committee.
Olson says during the committee meeting he rejected a lot of changes that were proposed in the bill. “We can continue to work on it, if everything falls into place,” he says. And by everything falling into place, he means if the TouchPlay machines remain in operation and yield as much as 45 million dollars to the state next year.